Former title challenger Joe Soto returned to action Friday at the TUF 26 Finale, looking to build on a three-fight win streak.
It seems like forever ago now, but Joe Soto was once a Bellator champion, and received a surprise title shot on short notice upon joining the UFC. While he fell short to once-and-again bantamweight champ T.J. Dillashaw, Soto got a lot of credit for taking on the toughest of challenges on next-to-zero notice. After that opportunity, he dropped his next two bouts, risking being bounced from the UFC altogether. The promotion, however, gave him another chance. Good thing — Soto has quietly put together a comfortable win streak heading into the TUF 26 finale.
Now 3-3 in his UFC career, Soto met Brett Johns in Las Vegas on Friday, opening the main card of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale. Johns, a former Cage Warriors and Titan FC bantamweight champ, had won both his UFC fights to date. Would Soto become the first man to stop him?
Soto circled early, as Johns pressed forward. It was Brett Johns would would open with the first combo, but Soto would sneak in for a quick single leg takedown. in a flash, however, Johns rolled into a calf slicer and forced the tap! If you blinked, you missed it! Soto was clearly in pain, and Johns had earned himself an incredible submission win.
That was just the second calf slicer submission in the UFC. A standout, despite the TUF 26 Finale being full of memorable submissions.
Brett Johns def. Joe Soto by submission (calf slicer), Round 1, 0:30